Mode: Object mode
Panel: Modifiers (Editing context, F9)
The Lattice modifier deforms the base object according to the shape of a Lattice object.
- The Lattice object with which to deform the base object.
- An optional vertex group name which controls the strength of the deformation.
Previously, a Lattice was applied to an object by parenting. Now it is implemented as a modifier. The old and new implementations have the same functionality. The primary difference is that now the effect can be applied in realtime, while editing, to any object type without concern for a parent/child relationship. The old method still works but it is deprecated.
Instead of making a parent-child relationship, one has to type the name of the lattice object into the Ob field and the modifier takes effect immediately. You can even see the effect on the object inside Edit mode using the Cage mode button (6).
There is a separate Lattice panel for controlling the Lattice object attributes, in the same Editing context (F9).
A lattice consists of a non-renderable three-dimensional grid of vertices. Their main use is to give extra deformation capabilities to the underlying object they control (either via a modifier, or being its parent). These “victim” objects can be meshes, surfaces and even particles.
Why would you use a lattice to deform a mesh instead of deforming the mesh itself in Edit mode? There are a couple of reasons for that:
- First of all: it’s easier. Since your mesh could have a zillion vertices, scaling, grabbing and moving them could be a hard task. Instead, if you use a nice simple lattice your job is simplified to move just a couple of vertices.
- It’s nicer. The deformation you get looks a lot better!
- It’s fast! You can use the same lattice to deform several meshes. Just give each object a lattice modifier, all pointing to the same lattice.
- It’s a good practice. A lattice can be used to get different versions of a mesh with minimal extra work and consumption of resources. This leads to an optimal scene design, minimizing the amount of modeling work. A lattice does not affect the texture coordinates of a mesh’s surface. Subtle changes to mesh objects are easily facilitated in this way, and do not change the mesh itself.
Here is a really quick example of creating landscape terrain.
I use the Top 3D view (7 NumPad) to perform some of these actions.
First start with a plane Mesh object and, in Edit mode, subdivide it about five times using the Subdivide button in the Mesh Tools panel, and click All Edges (Mesh Tools More panel), so we can see all the faces in wireframe mode.
And then add a Lattice object to the scene. The default name for the Lattice object is “
Lattice”! Scale the Lattice to fit around the Mesh object (S).
At this time the Lattice and the Mesh are independent of each other. Neither knows of the other. We associate them using a Lattice modifier. Go ahead and select the Mesh object and add a Lattice modifier to it. Then fill in the Ob field with the name of the Lattice object (“
Lattice” by default). Be careful, the field is case sensitive.
Go back to the Lattice object and bump up the U and V subdivisions to 6 each. (Lattice and plane) is what we have so far as viewed from a perspective 3D view.
Now we can begin to deform the Mesh object by going into Edit mode while the Lattice object is selected. Grab a vertex, or two, and drag them (G) up the Z-axis (Z). Then grab a few more and move them down the Z-axis. Note, if you feel you don’t have enough vertices on the Lattice object you can always exit Edit mode (i.e. go back to Object mode) and bump up the U and V subdivisions even more.
(Quick landscape complete) is my attempt at creating a landscape. It is in solid mode with the Lattice object hidden on another layer (M).
Particles and Lattices
Particles follow a Lattice if the modifier sequence is right. First the particles, then the lattice!